Monday, June 19, 2017

The Artist UnSEWn Series presents Quiet Moments by Coats Designer Shell Rummel

Artist Statement
I find immense joy in the quiet moments spent seaside, meandering along the coast barefoot in early morning before the hustle of the day begins. Soft solitude allows the eye to see things in a different light. My Quiet Moments collection is directly inspired by ocean elements such as the shimmering tide, swaying ocean grasses and urchins found along the jetty. This modern coastal collection is sure to resonate with all who love the sea. My Shell Rummel fabric collections tend towards a more sophisticated design aesthetic always softened with fluid lines and a warm painterly hand. When gathering inspiration from the natural world around me, I aim to honor the edges, the delicate details, the lines and shadows and spaces in between. The soft palettes and patterns of my Quiet Moments collection layer beautifully and will add a stunning air of refined tranquility to any sewing, craft or home décor project.

One of my earliest, most vivid memories is traveling to Atlantic City for a day trip to the beach. We were so young, my sister, cousins and I, all crammed shoulder to shoulder into the back of a hot station wagon for the hour long drive to the sea. Fidgeting and loudly giggling….maybe even complaining for most of the way:) but, a change in demeanor the moment we’d begin to sense we were getting close. Excitement palpable, we’d quiet…our noses and small fingers pressed against the windows, gently maneuvering and straining necks to get that first glimpse of the ocean as we’d drive by… I can still recall seeing that glimmer of green blue at the horizon line for the very first time – and, the grasses, taller than I was, swaying slowly beyond the edge of the boardwalk – and, the sandy shoreline, speckled with treasure sharing my name. The journey there, only an hour away, always seemed impossibly far off in my young mind… but arriving, for me, always felt like coming home.

All these years later, the ocean still holds me tightly within its grasp and under its spell.  Although now I am landlocked, it’s often saltwater I crave. As an artist, watercolors are my chosen medium and no wonder… there is an inherent wild and unpredictable flow that reminds of the place I love. The transparency of pigment enhances my designs, adding subtlety and nuance. I mix my palette by hand, with a nod to the sea… blues and greens, driftwood greys, pretty corals and sands… those colors have a timeless modern coastal vibe that is universally felt and that bring many of us back to earliest memories spent seaside, a simpler, quieter time in many ways.

Artists create best from places of deep significance and resonance. My Quiet Moments collection was born from my desire to share this feeling that I hold dear. I wanted my patterns to honor coastal elements that I love to explore, like the mysterious crevices and rocks of my beloved jetty, the graceful swoop of the grasses near the boardwalk and the intricate tile work from seaside architecture that made quite an impression, catching the eye of a very young Shell. By honoring the natural and by being true and authentic to the artist within, I hope to encourage creativity on a grand scale! I hope Quiet Moments makes you feel relaxed, nostalgic and inspired at the very same time.    

Moonlight Quilt designed by Sherri Noel
Ocean Rhythm designed by Brittney Anderson

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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The Artist UnSEWn Series presents Ghost by Nel Whatmore

The inspiration for any collection is always a gathering together of disparate images and impressions that have stayed with me over a period of time. That is what I like about the process of designing as it’s about creating from a palette of ideas and memories, and so it is with Ghost my new collection.
The palette of the collection, in fact of all my collections  evolve from and inspired by my originals paintings. I have found over the years that I tend to paint in certain palettes for a period of time and then move on, I suppose as I grow as a person my tastes and inspirations change. I am sure we all find that the colours we liked when we were younger are not the colours we would choose now. I know that is partly dictated by fashion trends but also I strongly believe by us just moving on in our lives. I work in pastel most of the time as I love the range of colours so much and also the tactile nature of the medium, which led me to textiles originally too. In the same way we create quilts, it’s all about drawing a palette of colours together.
So the rich array of blues and deep purples are a long held favourite of mine which you can see in the series of paintings below. 

The actually mixing of both pattern and painting also really fascinates as what brings everything together is the colour. Again in the same way when quilting you are always looking for a focus fabric and ones that then support and enhance it. It’s like trying to achieve a very beautiful balance.

The next colourway echoes my increasing love of greens and their calming properties and connection to nature. I find that as I now paint, my mind drifts off thinking of patterns and ways to use different palettes. There is this lovely crossing over between design and fine art, which I love, it’s rather like having two feet in two different pools with a common over flow into each.

Here are the paintings that inspired the palette of the Green Colourway of Ghost.

Finally I couldn’t not have a warm pink colourway, I am drawn a great deal to cerise pinks and find when painting that those are the colours that I often run out of  the quickest. There is something magical about a little bit of pink that can lift any painting or quilt.

Mix and matching  colours like paint on a palette is where all the fun begins.

So that is where the inspiration for the colour palettes came from. As to the forms and soft impression of levaes and feathers. I have become very obsessed recently with faint impressions of things rather than more obvious definitions of plants and flowers. So creating a collection that is full of softer lines and ghostly impressions naturally followed on.

As a child I was always fascinated by the unusual shadows or prints of leaves on pavements in the autumn that were created when a leaf had been pressed to the surface by the rain and could be peeled away later to reveal a perfect image of itself. Combined with recently getting more into printing I wanted to look at different ways of printing that left a soft edge rather than hard lines. So again this interest came to fruition in Ghost.

My daughter funnily enough is also now getting into printing even though she is doing a Fine art degree at Edinburgh College of Art. The bridging of that gap between painting and printing seems to fascinate us both.

We often share ideas and comment on each others work, we each know we can always get a very honest opinion, which is essential in order to move forward. Though you have to have a think skin!
I do hope you enjoy using Ghost. Personally I am going to make myself a dress out of the Ghost Blue main pattern, when I have a moment. Have a great time sewing and I look forward to seeing what you make!
Rope Tricks designed by Lucy Fazely

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